Atheist Nat Hentoff, who was known for his civil libertarian views as much as his prolific writing, died at the age of 91 on Jan. 7 at his home in Manhattan while "surrounded by family members and listening to Billie Holiday," according to his son.
Hentoff was born in Boston on June 10, 1925, to Simon and Lena Katzenberg Hentoff, who were Jewish immigrants from Russia.
Hentoff wrote for The Village Voice for 50 years and also contributed to The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Down Beat magazine and dozens of other publications. He wrote more than 35 books — novels, volumes for young adults and nonfiction works on civil liberties, education and other subjects.
Hentoff received the National Press Foundation's award for lifetime achievement in contributions to journalism, and in 2004 was named one of six Jazz Masters by the National Endowment for the Arts, the first nonmusician to win the honor.